“Since 1971 the most trusted source of Canadian Rockies hiking information”

Canadian Rockies Trail Guide

On the Kootenay Park trail crew, 1973

In 2020, Kootenay National Park marked its centennial. We published several postings that year celebrating the park’s backcountry past. We called for submissions for more photos from the park’s past. John Cuddeford, who worked on Kootenay Park’s trail crew in 1973, discovered our postings a few months ago. He sent along a series of images from his time on the park’s trails in 1972 and 1973. Richard Halverson, who was the trail boss that summer and still lives in Invermere, BC, provided information for some of the photos.


John Cuddeford’s Kootenay Park summers

In 1972 I was a member of the National Parks Conservation Corps. The program was designed to instruct in trail and trail bridge construction, forest fire prevention and suppression, wildlife surveys, restocking of park waters with game fish, and other phases of park conservation activity. During that summer a group of us hiked the Rockwall Trail from Ochre Creek to Floe Lake.

The following summer, as part of the five person park trail crew, we worked on the trail up Honeymoon Pass and down Verdant Creek.  As you can see from the photo, the walls of our cook tent near Vermilion Crossing were no match for the claws of a hungry bear.   Not sure why we didn’t put our bag up a tree 🙂  We did have a metal “bear-proof” (?) canister with perishables that we sunk in a shallow pool in Verdant Creek later that summer.  Happily, no bear breached it.

Our supplies for July and August were dropped by helicopter at the meadow in front of Totem Cabin on Verdant Creek. The trail crew photo was probably taken just after the tree had been felled for a bridge across the creek.

Totem Cabin was home to our trail crew for about 8 weeks as we worked on the Verdant Creek portion of the trail.  Lots of stories there, including one about the cook-for-a-day who thought he would drain the big pot of spaghetti into the outhouse to avoid polluting the creek (you can guess the ending!)

Cook tent at the Honeymoon Pass trailhead,1973.

Totem Cabin near the confluence of Verdant Creek and East Verdant Creek, 1973.

Trail crew boss Richard Halverson (yellow hardhat) taking a break with other members of the crew on the Honeymoon Pass-Verdant Creek trail in 1973.

Trail crew rendezvous with the Park Warden, 1973.

Helicopter pilot Jim Davies (in shorts) and Richard Halverson (on right with sleeping bag) during a supply drop in front of the Totem Cabin on Verdant Creek.

A bridge on Verdant Creek. “Didn’t have the budget for ‘real’ bridges back then. Hope it survived the spring floods the following year.”

Avalanche debris near Honeymoon Pass with Mount Verendrye on the horizon.

Tumbling Glacier in 1972, back when the glacier filled the basin beside Tumbling Pass on the Rockwall Trail.

NCAA crew felled this tree across Ochre Creek— a makeshift bridge “built” on our trip across the Rockwall Trail in 1972.

Photos courtesy of John Cuddeford


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *